Getting a good offer for your home is a big deal, but there’s another step that’s just as important. That’s a home inspection.
Home inspections warn buyers of defects and enable them to make better decisions about their purchase. Although inspections require an initial investment, they usually pay for themselves in the long run.
An inspection or pre-inspection gives sellers a chance to do repairs or make negotiations in the sales price to compensate for the defect. It also gives buyers the information they need to plan for the future.
In this article we will be going over what is a home inspection, what is its purpose, and how to prepare for a home inspection as a seller in just 7 steps.
What Is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection takes place after you sign a purchase agreement. Most buyers make offers contingent on the results, and they can back out of the sale if the inspector finds a problem.
If that happens, you have three choices:
- Find another buyer
- Make the repairs
- Lower the price
You want the inspection to go without a hitch, and that means making all the repairs beforehand.
Inspectors look for building violations and safety issues, especially in plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. The goal is to target mechanical and structural defects, not cosmetic flaws.
The inspection usually covers issues that are are significant enough to affect the use and enjoyment of the house. Unless you’re buying a new home, don’t expect every imperfection to make the list.
It’s normal to feel anxious about the inspection, but it helps to understand how it works. We’ll show you how to prepare for a home inspection as a seller.
What Does a Home Inspector Do?
A home inspector checks for issues in theses areas:
- Basement, attic and foundation
- Plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems
- Floors, windows and doors
- Appliances, fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, etc.
After the inspection, which usually lasts two to four hours, the inspector provides a written report of the results. One way to avoid unwanted surprises is to schedule a pre-inspection first.
What Is a Pre-inspection?
A pre-inspection uncovers potential problems that could cause your offer to fall through. The information may also help you negotiate a better deal.
If buyer and seller agree, the pre-inspection can replace the traditional inspection, or it can be used strictly for negotiation and repairs. It also reduces the need for risky contingency clauses and lets you close more quickly.
While a pre-inspection may give you time to make repairs, it doesn’t guarantee a hassle-free sale. If the buyer pays for a different pre-inspection that uncovers issues not on your report, you may have to pay for those too.
The cost of home inspections vary depending on the location, age and size of the house. They usually run from around $300 to $450.
7 Steps to a Successful Home Inspection
When you’re trying to make a good impression, it always helps to have a clean and organized home. If you’re handy, you can use our checklist to prepare for the inspection. If not, hire someone to help:
1. Get rid of clutter.
Get rid of clutter inside and around the house. Clear driveways, pathways and other outdoor spaces to allow easy access. Organize attics, declutter hallways, and make sure crawlspaces are accessible.
Replace HVAC filters, and dust vents. Clean kitchen appliances, and scrub mold from showers and tiles. Make the entire house sparkle.
3. Make sure everything works.
Examine windows, toilets, faucets, fans and light fixtures. Check weatherstripping on doors and windows, ductwork in attics and crawlspaces, and downspouts to see if they’re working properly.
4. Be safe.
Replace batteries in smoke detectors, check carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure your fire extinguisher is up to date. Clean the chimney, and get rid of bugs and pests.
5. Don’t forget the exterior.
Pressure wash or clean limbs and leaves from the roof, prune dead limbs on trees and shrubs, and clean the gutters. Get rid of debris around the HVAC unit, drain spouts and foundation vents. Check for standing water that isn’t draining properly.
6. Make it easy to access the exterior.
The inspector needs to examine features like vents, windows, and siding on the outside of the house. Clear a space at least six inches wide for access.
7. Prepare for the inspector.
Leave the house an hour before the inspection, and take your pets with you.
Before you go, follow these tips to make the inspector’s job easier:
- Turn on all the utilities
- Leave keys for storage buildings, gates or electrical boxes
- Leave remotes for garage door lights, ceiling fans, etc
- Remove laundry from washer and dryer
- Remove dishes from sink, counter and dishwasher
- Turn on pilot lights for gas appliances
- Label the fuse box
- Leave directions for finding wells and septic tanks
- Leave documents for repairs, maintenance or insurance claims
Another Alternative – Get a Cash Offer
Now that you know how to prepare for a home inspection as a seller, we’ll tell you about another alternative.
If you’ve inherited a home or need to sell quickly because of events like divorce, job loss or relocation, you can avoid the long process of listing, finding a buyer, and waiting for closing.
A cash offer means you don’t have to stage and repair your house or wait for the right buyer. You can sell your home for cash and get these benefits:
- No repairs
- No need for multiple showings
- No closing cost
- No commission or realtor fees
- No contingency clauses on inspection or financing
- No long waits for closing
- No loan appraisals
- Immediate cash offer
What Works Best for You?
If you’re selling a home yourself or listing it with a realtor, you’ll need a certified home inspector to look at it and document its condition. Waiting for the results can be time-consuming, and unfavorable results can cause you to lose the sale.
You can avoid surprises by hiring your own inspector to do a pre-inspection. This means you’ll know what’s wrong and can fix it early in the sale.
Sometimes, situations arise that make it necessary to sell quickly and easily. You can avoid a long wait and uncertainty by selling to a company that buys homes for cash.
You’ll get less from a cash sale than if you sell a house in tiptop shape with a realtor, but you’ll know what to expect. You won’t have to do repairs, stage your home, or live with the uncertainty of a traditional sale.
Get an Offer Now
We pay cash for homes in any condition, but we look at the location, condition and market value to determine the value. Then, we come up with a fair price for both of us.
If you live in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston or San Antonio areas, call 888-724-9603 or fill out the quick for below to get an offer on your house TODAY!